The Attorney General announced his office filed lawsuits against two businesses for allegedly selling and shipping synthetic marijuana and other designer drugs. The shops, located in Erie and Rockland counties, are charged with labeling dangerous products with names like “Green Giant” and “Psycho,” and in new formats like psychoactive eliquids and candies, then promoting and marketing them as “legal highs.” Some products allegedly had practically no label information and most lacked comprehensive ingredient lists, warnings, and directions for use. The proliferation of illegal designer drugs is a national health crisis that is hurting families and communities, and the Attorney General is stepping in to protect New Yorkers.
This week the Attorney General announced he is forming a new partnership with Facebook to use innovative data and analytical methods to crack down on human trafficking. The partnership will leverage technology to identify victims of sex trafficking in online advertisements for commercial sex, and pursue the traffickers that engage in this practice of modern day slavery. The initiative will focus, in particular, on identifying child victims of sex trafficking, including those who are reported as missing. This is the most recent example of Facebook’s collaboration with the Attorney General’s office; they previously joined together to send AMBER alerts to news feeds on Facebook and to curb illegal firearms sales online.
Urban Outfitters has now become the fifth major retailer to the end use of on-call shifts since the Attorney General launched an inquiry into the scheduling practice earlier this year. The retailer will begin to phase in the change starting in November for employees at all of its New York stores. Workers deserve basic protections, including a reliable work schedule that allows them to budget living expenses, arrange for childcare needs, and plan their days, and Urban Outfitters is taking an important step to ensure that their employees have schedules that are more predictable.
Two hospitals in Binghamton have agreed to bolster their language assistance and financial aid services in an effort to better serve their increasingly diverse communities. Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital and Auburn Community Hospital will provide training for personnel on communicating with LEP individuals, translate important documents, and promote effective communication between clinical personnel and patients and families, among other measures. Overcoming language barriers in the medical setting is key to protecting the health and well-being of all New Yorkers, and these agreements exemplify steps that healthcare providers can take to provide everyone a meaningful opportunity to obtain quality medical care.
The Attorney General announced the indictment of two Orange County individuals for allegedly falsifying credentials for nursing instructors in order to have a planned nursing assistant training institute approved. The defendants, who together operated Major Staffing LLC, a nurse staffing agency, are alleged to have knowingly submitted nine different falsified documents to the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision in an effort to push through the licensing of their school, where they planned to train Certified Nursing Assistants for the chronically ill and elderly. Nursing home staff must have the highest level of training and experience—New Yorkers should expect nothing less.
The Attorney General is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Labor to address violations of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act and New York State laws covering health insurance plans. This agreement will allow for greater collaboration on enforcement efforts involving New York insurance companies violating state or federal law. Since 2010, the New York Attorney General’s Health Care Bureau has reached more than a dozen agreements with health insurance companies enforcing laws related to a wide variety of health care issues, and the Attorney General will continue to ensure that all types of health plans comply with our vital federal and state consumer protection laws.